Quote of the Day: I need noise and interruptions and irritation: irritation and discomfort are a great starter. The loneliness of doing it any other way would kill me. Anita Brookner
I also like: I type in one place, but I write all over the house. Toni Morrison
Some writers need complete silence. Some want blank walls and a a small room where they can shut the door. Not me, I need people. I find that I am more productive when the kids are home or when I go to a coffee shop. I need the energy of other people to stimulate the flow of words for some of my projects. Plus, I get most of my dialogue from listening to other people. I’ll confess right now that Coffee Shop Confessions is filled with overheard conversations as well as ones that I’ve been involved in. I take real life and put it into my stories and articles.
This weekend my boys were with their dad. The temps were well below 0 degrees F. I was alone, feeling isolated, and a little schlumpy. That means I tend to nap, putter around, and watch movies.
|This is my parents’ mailbox, not mine. It’s about 150 miles away. I didn’t make it past the end of my driveway this weekend, but I wanted to use their mailbox because I like this picture.|
This weekend, I decided not to let the solitude get the best of me. I embraced it, (remember my word for the year) and found myself doing things that I like to do. I read a book The Reader, then I watched the movie. It was interesting comparing the written word to the movie version. They’re very close. I worked on my play, merging some files so it was all in one place. I feel very good about Acts 1 and 2. I still need to work on Act 3. I made a date with myself to work on it at the coffee shop on Tues. I cleaned my floor, mostly because I couldn’t stand the filth – salt and sand dragged in on dirty boots – yuck. And, I made a delicious chicken stir-fry with lots of ginger and garlic. mm-mm. My kids are afraid of stir-fry, so I make it when they’re not here.
Sometimes when I’m alone on a weekend, I wonder, what are other people doing? Where do adults gather, besides the bars? Well, this weekend, we had the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza. This is a fund-raiser for the organization and much of the proceeds go to Camp Confidence, a local camp for kids with disabilities. We even had our new Governor Mark Dayton visiting the lakes area.
(The following photos were taken by my friend Joey Halvorson. She does most of the photos for my Her Voice articles. She’s much hardier and braver than I am.)
I left the fishing and schmoozing to the hardier folks and stayed inside. In the end, I felt refreshed by my choice to spend time with myself. But, I was ready for conversation and life beyond my own couch this morning.
Journaling Prompt: How do you handle solitude? Do you embrace it or resist it? Where do you do your art best? Have you ever walked or fished on a frozen lake? How’s the weather where you are today?
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Love this thought/prompt. I’d have to say the wee hours works best for me. The solitude meshes with the ambiance of stillness, so, I’m able to allow my creatives juices to flow…of course as the day continues, I can get bored & tend to look for stuff to fill in those empty spaces:)
Never fished via hole on the ice, looks cold!
I read and write better without commotion in the background. I tend to get distracted easily. When my grandkids visit, I hang up my blog and books because I know it is a waste of my time.
Looks really cold there on the frozen lake. I bet the fishing is fun though. We are finally above the freezing mark today. It almost feels like a heat wave:)
A lot of times, I take a bath and listen to music to just slow it down and enjoy the aloneness. :O)
How funny we both blogged about solitude today! 🙂 Solitude can allow for personally meaningful activities and can change one’s view on difficult situations… I enjoy it very much. Yet I agree there is a balance that is necessary (at least for me). Great job with your play!
I like solitude for my writing, the quiet leaves room for my thoughts.
It’s cold here today, too, with temps not getting over 10 and a couple more inches of snow predicted tonight. It’s been a good old fashioned New England January, that’s for sure!
It depends on what I’m working on. Mostly, I need quiet, but I have thrived in coffee shops too, writing my columns especially. For some reason, I’ve taken to writing my columns when I’m out. But when stating a larger piece I tend to be at home in solitude. Strange.
Glad you made use of your time, Mary. I wish I could have added a little spark to your weekend, but since I was home ill, I would not have been the best company.
The ice fishing reminds me of my Eric story. *sigh* 🙂
Years ago before I had kids my husband used to have about 1 weekend out of 4 on-call at the hospital where he worked. I found I looked forward to those weekends and the alone time. Now I can hardly go two hours without missing my family.
I used to resist it. Before three kids and a needy hubby, I hated to be alone. Now, I cherish those rare moments! 🙂
Before my cancer journey I hated and resisted silence…now I have learned to “embrace” it and spend the time nourishing my soul.
I have tried ice fishing and don’t mind the cold..but it totally freaks me out when you drive on the ice to get to your ice hole. Pure craziness.
OMG but your winter landscape looks brrrrr coooold. I know people who dream of returning to Minnesota to go ice fishing. I’d like to try, once, just to see, okay for 15 min, but think the brrrrr! would wimp me out!
I’m one of those who needs quiet to write, not always solitude, but it’s gotta be quiet. If someone opens a door mid thought, that thought can fly away.
Remember, we especially think of you, Mary, when weather reports come on tv. Stay warm, be careful not to slip on that ice…your area’s been hit hard…take care!!
I love solitude. I’m adventurous but I also love being alone. Solitary Adventure…hmmm, sounds like a quirky travel guide 🙂
When writing, I like to have background noise: soft music or the conversations at a book store. It’s hard for me to write when it’s completely silent.
Weather is cold but nearly as chilly as it is up your way! Stay warm and safe!